Ald. Milele Coggs
Press Release

Katie Avila Loughmiller receives Vel R. Phillips Trailblazer award


By - Mar 26th, 2021 03:35 pm
Katie Avila Loughmiller. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Rep.

Katie Avila Loughmiller. Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Rep.

Katie Avila Loughmiller has received the 2020 Vel R. Phillips Trailblazer Award for her service to the community. Made by the city Vel R. Phillips Trailblazer Award Selection Committee and bestowed by Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, the award recognizes selfless service and work to improve the quality of life for residents in Milwaukee.

Katie Avila Loughmiller received her undergraduate degree at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University and completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in the Public Practice program at Otis College of Art & Design. Ms. Avila Loughmiller has been an artist-in-residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts, Little House Gallery in LA, Vermont Studio Center, Wildacres Residency Program and MKE<->LAX.

Ms. Avila Loughmiller is a founding member of Milwaukee Action Intersection (MAI), which pushed for justice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, and whose members provided a support structure for protesters, including food and aid packages, thank you events for organizers, and raising money for legal support and providing wellness stations.

Leading up to the 2020 Presidential election, MAI launched a campaign called Amp the Vote to increase public engagement around the election by sharing information on how to vote safely, polling location pop-up events and food and music activities to help spur excitement.

Ms. Avila Loughmiller is also the co-founder of LUNA (Latinas Unidas en las Artes), a Latinx artist collective based in Milwaukee. She is also a founding member of Heard Space, a women of color led and focused performance arts collective.

LUNA and Heard Space give Latinx women the chance to collaborate and share their artwork with one another, and it ensures that their abilities are recognized and appreciated. These programs also offer community members the chance to develop their artistic abilities and creativity by stopping into their studios or classes and participating in their inclusive environment of talented artists. This is a very special organization because it allows community members to engage in art in a way which has typically never been available, and Katie is a fantastic leader for these organizations.

“Katie has exemplified the spirit of Vel Phillips through her leadership on social justice and election engagement issues, LUNA, Heard Space, and her moving artwork,” Alderwoman Coggs said. “It was my honor to bestow the Vel R. Phillips Trailblazer Award to Ms. Katie Avila Loughmiller during Women’s History Week in Milwaukee and as part of Girls’ Day @ City Hall.”

Mentioned in This Press Release

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